A lot of voters weren’t happy with with the outcome of the Ontario provincial election in June.
One reason: Premier Doug Ford cut the size of Toronto city council from 47 to 25 councillors, a move with which 76 per cent of voters disagreed.
This summer, only 58 per cent of registered voters went to the polls. Though that was the highest participation rate in an Ontario election in years, it’s clear that not enough people took the time to be informed and involved in Ontario’s politics.
For the upcoming Toronto municipal election, it is important for everyone to cast their ballot as a way of expressing their opinion.
A recent Nanos Research survey found that 34 per cent of municipal voters across Ontario were unaware of the upcoming election.
Even more importantly, some didn’t even know they are eligible to vote, or didn’t know enough about the candidates and their policies.
Here are two reasons why you should vote.
First, it’s easy. Any Canadian citizen over the age of 18 who is able to show proof of residency in their riding can cast a ballot. You have the right to vote even if you don’t have a voting card.
Second, it’s a right. There are immigrants in the GTA that don’t hold Canadian citizenship, meaning they don’t have the right to vote. In fact, immigrants and refugees might have come from non-democratic countries where they weren’t able to exercise their right to vote (or didn’t have candidate options). In Canada, it’s considered a privilege and a civic duty to take the opportunity to elect a candidate who demonstrates your values and opinions.
Citizens who aren’t casting their vote means that they’re letting others decide for them. Simply, if you believe you’re not informed enough, you are encouraged to go to your ward’s council meetings, listen to the candidates, and have them answer your questions.
Even if none of the candidate’s policies and promises satisfies you, it’s still important to choose.
Democracy is an opportunity, and votes should not be wasted. The power and future are in your hands. Election day is Oct. 22, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.